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New Department Directors, Repairs to City-Owned Properties Top Covington Commission Agenda

The Covington City Commission meets on Tuesday at 6 p.m. inside the commission chambers at City Hall (638 Madison Avenue).

The agenda includes the replacement of two department directors, improvements to two high-profile city-owned properties, grant money from Duke Energy Foundation, and more.

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Tom Logan to be replaced as director of the Department of Public Improvements

The longtime head of Covington's Department of Public Improvements is leaving his post for good.

Until June, Tom Logan had served as city engineer and the director of DPI but became assistant city engineer following a 3-2 vote by the city commission and a 4-1 vote that promoted former Assistant City Engineer Mike Yeager to the city engineer position. Logan had agreed to stay on part-time while the city searched for a new permanent director of DPI. He was to be paid $65,000 annually in his new part-time role.

The City received 44 applications for the job and on Tuesday will recommend the hiring of Rick Davis, a transportation engineering branch manager for the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet. He would start October 1 at an annual salary of $89,900. October 1 would also be Logan's last day.

Former Kenton Co. Treasurer to Be Interim Finance Director

Ivan Frye, who served as Kenton County Treasurer for 27 years, will serve as interim finance director at City Hall. Frye is already on the job, The River City News reported last Thursday.

Frye replaces Bob Due who was arrested August 23 and charged with stealing roughly $600,000 from the city coffers. Due is on house arrest at his Independence home while his case is reviewed by the Kenton County Grand Jury.

The City filed a lawsuit against Due, his family, and others as part of an effort to regain the allegedly stolen funds. A task force assembled two weeks ago will meet for the first time on Wednesday at Covington City Hall at 6:30 p.m.

Kentucky Auditor Adam Edelen's office is also investigating the alleged theft.

Jerome Heist, who was originally named interim director following Due's firing, will return to his position as operations & accounting manager.

Work to Begin on City-Owned 501 Main, Lincoln Grant, Retaining Walls

The entire roof of the former Lincoln Grant School building will be replaced. Because of roof damage, water is getting inside the building. 

The city commission approved plans in August for the 1930s building to be redeveloped as a Scholar House residential & educational facility

The cost of the roof repairs is $31,200, payable from the general fund. The work will be done by Interstate Contractors, LLC.

(SEE ALSO: Photos from Inside the Vacant Lincoln Grant Building)

Meanwhile, work will also be done on the city-owned 501 Main building (pictured, top left) in Mainstrasse Village. Roof damage is causing water to seep into the building which is causing interior damage.

Better Homes & Restoration, LLC will be awarded the contract worth $31,314, payable from the general fund.

The City will also allocate funds for design services that will lead to the repair of the two retaining walls along Devou Drive near Western Avenue which are failing. Money has been allocated for construction in the capital budget and detailed design documents are needed before the project can be advertised for construction. Thelen Associates, Inc. has been working on these walls and investigating the issue since the early 1990s, according to the agenda. The scope of this work would include fixes for the entire road as well as construction estimates so that the City can plan for future projects. This work would allow the construction of the top three priority areas in the Spring of 2014. 

The contract would be worth $138,035, payable from the capital improvements fund.

Other notes: 

  • The commission will consider a new ordinance banning temporary fireworks vendors. There will be no vote at the Tuesday meeting on the ordinance, but a text amendment for a change to the city's zoning code disallowing fireworks tents and other temporary vendors will be voted upon.
  • Four new police officers will be hired: Daniel Merrell, John Coulter, Jesse Wenning, and Matthew Blackwell
  • A new municipal groundskeeper will be hired. Corey Lohstroh will be paid $40,500 annually.

The River City News will have the most comprehensive coverage available. Follow RCN on Facebook & Twitter for live updates from City Hall!

Written by Michael Monks, editor & publisher of The River City News

Photo: 501 Main Building/RCN file